November 2017

Joint AECM/EAPB/NEFI Position Paper on the Future of EU Finances post 2020

As the main intermediaries for EU Structural Funds and other EU financial Instruments (COSME, InnovFin etc.) the member institutions of AECM, EAPB and NEFI are key players in addressing economic and social challenges in the Member States and their regions. By providing amongst others greater leverage, geographical coverage, as well as specific market knowledge, Promotional Financial Intermediaries bring crucial added value to the success of the EU economic policies. Based on the comprehensive experience of our member institutions at national, regional and local level, we are pleased to share our thoughts in the debate on the future of EU finances and on how Promotional Financial Intermediaries can be further encouraged to participate in EU programmes.

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October 2017

COSME Interim Evaluation

AECM, EAPB, ELTI & NEFI Comments on the Interim Evaluation of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) (2014-2020) Brussels, 25 October 2017 We strongly support COSME’s specific objective “to improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt” as well as the operational objective to “provide enhanced access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases through a debt financial instrument and an equity financial instrument”. These objectives possess a continued relevance contributing also to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. With regard to the EIF’s role, we value very positively the part it has played in the implementation process of guarantee instruments with our member institutions Our members enjoy a long-lasting, positive, effective and smooth cooperation with the EIF and report that the EIF has always been very supportive in explaining the process and the conditions that have to be met in order to sign an agreement. As to the design of the LGF, in general it addresses our members’ needs, enabling them to support even more micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). From the outset, it needs to be stressed that the LGF has proven to be very successful and without doubt, there is a continued market need for it. However, some features of the LGF could be improved to make it easier to use and to broaden its scope of application and its effectiveness in supporting even more SMEs. (...)

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February 2017

Public Support to SMEs: Sharing Views on Evaluation Issues

Together with their colleagues from the Business Support Services Working Group the NEFI Members Almi and Bpifrance published in February their newest report on the evaluation process of SME support programs. This collaborative report constitutes a “summary note of shared experiences” as regards the evaluation of such programs: what kind of issues were faced, what kind of method implemented, illustrated with some examples. It does not constitute a theoretical guide to public policy evaluation, but rather reflects some of the practical discussions exchanged during the working group's meetings.

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December 2016

Building Momentum in Venture Capital across Europe

On 07th December 2016 NEFI Members Bpifrance, British Business Bank, ICO and KfW have presented together with the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti a joint research paper on the current situation of Europe's venture capital market. Besides country-specific information, the study brings an outline of current challenges faced by the EU market and gives recommendations on how to build momentum in venture capital across Europe.

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May 2016

Key role of National Promotional Institutions in the EFSI SME Window

On the occasion of this year's High Level Meeting NEFI Member Institutions adopted a joint statement on the Key role of National Promotional Institutions in the EFSI SME Window. The joint statement aims to present NEFI's main recommendations so as to enhance the effectiveness of EFSI as well as the cooperation between the EIB group and NPBIs. The NEFI High Level Meeting took place on 25th May 2016 in Paris and was hosted by Bpifrance.

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October 2014

Key role of National Promotional Institutions in access to finance for SMEs

On 29-30 October, NEFI held its biannual High Level Meeting of senior representatives of NEFI member institutions. The HLM was hosted in Madrid by NEFI’s Spanish member ICO. The meeting served as a forum to discuss existing partnerships between NEFI members and EU institutions, and to explore new ways in which the current collaboration can be extended and reinforced. Ahead of the High Level Meeting, NEFI member institutions adopted a joint statement on the Key role of National Promotional Institutions in access to finance for SMEs.

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February 2014

NEFI comments on the draft General Block Exemption Regulation

NEFI submitted its position to the European Commission regarding the final draft guidelines of the General Block Exemption Regulation. NEFI partner institutions were mainly concerned about the scope of the Regulation, publication of sensitive information, the specific provisions for the different categories of aid including aid for SMEs and the wording of some definitions. Also, NEFI would welcome postponing the entry into force of the Regulation until the beginning of 2015 in order to better allow member states to complete actions within the transition period.

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December 2013

NEFI comments to the draft guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring nonfinancial undertakings in difficulty

NEFI submitted its position regarding the draft guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring nonfinancial undertakings in difficulty. NEFI partner institutions were mainly concerned about the definition of ‘undertaking in difficulty’ and the criteria based on what the European Commission is planning to determine this but also about the planned rules for publicising confidential information on a central state aid webpage.

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September 2013

Contribution to the second draft of the new de minimis regulation

NEFI appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed draft. However, as compared to the present regulations the Commission proposals introduce limitations on de minimis aid, provide additional bureaucratic burden and generate legal risks related to vague definitions. NEFI partners fear that limitations of de minimis aid will jeopardize the use of financial instruments in the next EU financial prospective. Also, the proposed changes are contradictory to the objectives of the general EU policy pointing out the significance of small and medium sized enterprises.

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June 2013

Contribution to Green paper on long-term financing of the European economy

The NEFI member institutions welcome the publication of the Green paper by the European Commission. Access to long-term finance is one key requisite for achieving European Union’s medium and long-term goals for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.

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February 2012

Joint statement of NEFI, AECM and EAPB on Financial Instruments

The European Parliament is examining the EU Commission’s draft legal proposals for a new generation of financial instruments for the next programming period, notably the COSME and Horizon 2020. These proposals contain provisions for both guarantee and equity facilities aimed at addressing market failures in access to finance for SMEs in the EU. Additionally, an increasing part of the funds under Cohesion Policy is planned to be used as financial instruments, and access to finance for SMEs is part of the scope of application.

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May 2011

NEFI statement on the Consultation of the European Commission’s Green Paper for EU Research and Innovation

NEFI welcomes the opportunity to take part in the public consultation on a Common Strategic Framework for EU research and innovation funding. We propose that a significant part of the budget allocated to the Framework be devoted to the innovation and SME domain, thereby bringing together all instruments and financial products able to cover the complete R&D and innovation cycle.

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February 2011

NEFI statement on the consultation on a possible successor to Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programm (CIP)

NEFI appreciates the possibility to take part in the public consultation on a possible successor to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), as some of the NEFI members are important intermediaries of the CIP financial instruments.

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